WINE REVIEW: Nyetimber 2013 ‘Blanc de Blancs’ Brut, England ($82)
by Andrew Chalk
The category of English wine worth watching is sparkling wine. That is because the soil in the south is a lineal continuation of the calcareous chain that underpins much of Champagne. Climate change has mellowed the destructive humidity and raised the number of degree days enough to grow Chardonnay (and a little Pinot Noir). The veracity of this pretender on Champagne’s turf is that Champagne house Taittinger had purchased 150 acres and planted vines. Another top-tier Champagne house, Pommery, had invested in a joint venture with Hattingley Valley, with the first wines released in 2019. It’s exciting times and I had the good fortune to taste one of the leading brands (and one that is already in the US market), Nyetimber.
Appearance: Light straw color. Towers of miniscule bubbles rising in a perpetual bead;
Nose: Citrus, subtle hint of yeast,
Palate: Grippy backbone underpins a lime and green apple fruit component and yeasty secondary flavors.
An exercise in finesse in sparkling wine making. There are no sharp corners, just lots of complex flavors and textures that linger in the mouth long after the wine has been swallowed.